One is the respect we as teachers need to regain. Recently, if you were following news about education reform, a powerful voice said teachers don't need experience and that basically anyone can be a teacher. You know who was that. When someone who is being listened says this, and no one with the equivalent power can answer back, I feel exacerbated.
Jose Vilson in a powerful piece writes: "In other cultures, teachers are respected and in some cases, are the cultural equivalent of royalty and government officials. Here, teachers can only voice their opinion if they’ve a) left the profession b) became a PhD or c) did something absurdly outrageous/courageous."
Every single teacher in this country needs to voice and stand up to defend not only education but they career. No one of the people in Washington would be there, if it is not for a teacher who was the guidance at early ages. If professionals of education do not stand up, other will misrepresent them. And that's what is going on, unfortunately.
Secondly, I think unions are not playing the role many educators expect. I am not against unions but how quickly they react to everyone who had a counter interest to teachers.
Those groups, we teachers have to deal with, are highly organized and they can successfully influence policymakers. We need to build a national coalition funded on membership so we can have the ability to carry on an agenda and go to the Capitol with our own representatives.
Until we the teachers are not respected as professionals and have not a coalition that gathers all groups of organized teachers, get our adrenaline high, and fund ourselves such an organization, it will be difficult to gain government attention to our own issues about education.
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